A reflection from our client, Amber

In November 2022, one of the Amber team, Maria Nhật Tân, shared on the Facebook Agile Managers Club group:

I have been a submarine in the [Agile Manager Facebook] group for a long time, now I would like to share about a business that I consider successful in applying the Open Management model, agile management thinking.

At the end of February 2020, I participated in the agile manager class from Cherry. Before that, I read the agile manager’s book.

After graduation, the knowledge was only applicable to my family. So I ask Cherry to help me connect with some businesses so that I could practise this knowledge in the practical work at the company.

And I was connected with Amber Online Education. From July 2020 I started working with Amber as a sales partner. At that time I just thought of introducing customers to the company to earn commission and practise some Agile Management. But unexpectedly, the more I immersed into work with Amber, the more I practised the theories I had read in the book, and the knowledge that Cherry taught.

I would like to share the results Amber has achieved so far: 

  1. Talking about the people:

– Can you believe any one of Amber’s staff can produce (ideas, content, design, experience journey design… ), go to consult customers, sign contracts with customers, and collect money? And now over 50% of Amber’s staff can do it: responsible for an entire flow for a client or a project. Actually, it’s more than 50%, but there are people at Ha level, there are people at Ri level [we introduced the Shu-Ha-Ri model], so for now I take the 50%.

– Not only can they do the flow, but also multitasking. Today I see you working on a task for corporate client file, tomorrow I see you working for children, the next day I see you doing events for schools. Sometimes two tasks don’t make much difference. But you guys get in quick and get the job done

– In the past one month, we organised 3 workshops, established and launched 1 community, 3 livetalks, 2 intensive practice project sessions and several other activities.

  1. Speaking of the system:

Saying Amber has a 100% open system might not be wrong:

– Standup-meeting every day, information is always updated in a timely manner and through the “committees” (must be in double brackets because in Amber there are no committees, only project teams, product teams). Plus on the Kanban display, where it should be turned off is visible. Of course there are problems that can be solved immediately and  there are problems that persist, but not for long. Because everyone sees it there, if one person doesn’t speak up the other speaks up, and if no one speaks up the business owner speaks up if it’s indispensable. Because it’s too obvious and not emotional.

– Every week, I assign a person in charge of updating the account, making cash flow report, report and analysis. Although they are not specialised in financial accounting, but the information that needs to be known, needs to be mentioned, needs to be analysed, they can do it all. And the information is published openly in the internal group of the whole company. So everyone knows the health of the enterprise.

  1. Speaking about the customer:

– There are customers who have texted “if Amber doesn’t take this project then we have to hire another unit from India”. There are customers returning multiple times, even when this time the price is much higher than last time. There are clients who have worked together to build an E-learning community.

  1. Talk about an improvement:

Of course to have “top” people, a transparent system, a streamlined flow, a loyal customer file coming back and forth on a regular basis, improvement can’t be overlooked. We have the Amber phase that improves every day. Every day there’s a 15 minute improvement session. Things Amber has improved:

– How to display work has been improved to the nth degree. And every day, people and their metrics are harmonised more and more smoothly.

– Eliminate team isolation to work together. Who knows how many times Amber has reset the teams. That’s why everyone is no longer surprised when tomorrow they move to a new team. That’s why everyone’s adaptation ability is extremely high.

– Improve how to improve. There are days when the talk of improvement doesn’t see it as improvement, but a bunch of problems. So let’s find out how improvement is actually effective.

– The biggest improvement and change probably needs to refer to the business owner. The balance between numbers and people. Between the organisation being orange and teal [using Laloux’s colour model]. Stressful and very stressful at times. Sometimes I feel helpless because if it’s too tense it’s not good, but if it’s so democratic it’s good? But then doing  it 1001 ways is also aimed at being a teal organisation – an organisation where people find their passion in work and grow every day. Persisting with your choice, that’s how you get people like now, a system like now, and customers like now. And it keeps growing and growing.

And I, of course, have grown a lot more since entering Amber, and more importantly have practised working smarter. What worked so well in the past is no longer effective now. I feel like I’ve always had a way of thinking while the world has changed so much. Before collaborating with Amber, I didn’t know where to start with the changes. Because so many things need to change, need to be faster, need to work harder… while my strength is limited.

But Amber showed me there are more ways to work smarter: let’s start with small actions, make changes today, and make continuous improvements. Then the result is as you have read above.

Here is more on the methods me and Amber have been using:

Permission to share with everyone. And looking forward to connecting with all brothers and sisters who are practising “Agile Management”.

Find out more about Amber Online Education at amber.edu.vn